Careers and Employability Service
Services for current students

What do employers think?

New employee sitting with new colleagues in an office


Taking a year or two out isn't an issue for most employers. But you will need to identify and communicate the benefits you have gained that will be attractive and relevant to employers.

This means making a convincing case for your gap year.

 Employers are looking for graduates who come to them already equipped with soft skills such as teambuilding, negotiation and interpersonal skills. Many of them regard a constructive gap year as an ideal way of gaining these.


Carl Gilleard, Chief Executive of The Association of Graduate Recruiters (1998-2013)

Your next steps

If you have questions about your plans, talk to a member of our team.


Dealing with recruitment deadlines

You have three options:

  • Apply before your gap year - try to secure deferred entry to a graduate job or postgraduate course. You’ll need to find out if an employer will be able to offer this option. You could do this before you apply, at an interview or wait until you’ve been offered a job
  • Apply during your gap year - however, this could be problematic if you have to attend job interviews and selection centres when you’re travelling on the other side of the world
  • Apply after your gap year - the only difficulty is you may have missed the application deadline and therefore have to wait another year 

Careers and Employability Service

University of Nottingham
Portland Building, Level D
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 3680
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 3679